Palace vows support for COA auditor in Garcia case

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2011 01:56 PM | Updated as of Jan 26 2011 01:28 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A Malacañang spokesman on Tuesday said the Aquino administration is ready to support former Commission on Audit (COA) employee Heidi Mendoza in her truth-telling mission on the plunder case of former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia.

Communications and Strategic Planning Secretary Ricky Carandang said Mendoza’s testimony only shows there is clear evidence against Garcia and basis for the Sandiganbayan to grant the Solicitor General’s motion to intervene in the case to stop the plea bargain agreement.  

He told Mendoza: "It will not be a lonely fight.”
 
Mendoza led the COA team that looked into military deals and testified on allegedly irregular transactions involving Garcia. She presented documentary evidence showing that P50 million of the P200 million Garcia had authorized transferred from the Armed Forces’ Land Bank account to a private bank account could no longer be traced.

Mendoza said she was instructed to "go slow" in her investigation on the Garcia case and was even asked to say that the evidence against Garcia was weak.

Garcia was accused of stealing P300 million from the military's coffers during his time as AFP comptroller. He was recently freed on bail after a plea bargain deal allowed him to plead guilty to lesser charges while returning P135 million in assets to the government.

President Benigno Aquino and other officials have denounced the move, while the House of Representatives started an inquiry on the plea bargain. With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News